OPEN Research Support

PhD Student
Helene Nikolajsen
Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark

Projekt styring
Projekt status    Sampling ongoing
Data indsamlingsdatoer
Start 01.04.2019  
Slut 30.09.2021  

Fitness for all - fitness for people with physical disability

Short summary

"Fitness for all" is a project with the overall aim to make fitness centres more accessible and usable for people with physical disability. In this current study, we will perform a cross sectional descriptive register-based study, focusing on identifying and describing the group of potential fitness participants with physical disability in Denmark. The description of the group is based on specific diagnoses combined with socioeconomical variables and physiotherapy treatments within the Danish health care system.\n


Physical inactivity poses threat to public health, and according to WHO is a major risk factor for non-communicable diseases. Globally 23% of the adult population do not reach the general recommendations on physical activity. WHO recommends adults to perform at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week, or a minimum of 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity. This recommendation both holds for adults with and without physical disabilities, but might be of greater concern for people with disabilities as they in general tend to be more physically inactive and experience more chronic diseases and conditions, and at earlier ages 


Physical inactivity may decrease by using the growing fitness centre industry, which by some is considered the world's biggest "sport". Fitness centre training has increased in popularity since the 1970's, but is often not a possibility for people with disability due to accessibility issues. In some parts of the world mainly USA and UK, focus is on how to overcome all these barriers and how to make fitness centers accessible and usable for people with disability. In Denmark it is still a very unexplored area. Therefore, basic information about this group of people with physical disability may be a key factor in increasing physical activity, and thereby reducing lifestyle diseases and maintaining physical abilities among people with physical disabilities. Further, it may lead to changes in clinical practice on how to build and use fitness centres, organise the training and develop an inspiring atmosphere to increase the number of people exercising in fitness centres. Therefor the aim is:


1) To identify and describe the group of possible fitness participants in Denmark in relation to socioeconomics variables.


2) To determine their use of physiotherapy treatments in the Danish health care system.



Description of the cohort

Adult people with physical disability; Cerebral Palsy, aquired brain injury, reumatic deseases, muscular dystrophy, spinal cord injury, Sclerosis, Sequelae after Poliomyelitis and amputations. \n

Collaborating researchers and departments

Orthopaedic Research Unit, Department of Clinical Research, SDU

Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, OUH

  • Anders Holsgaard Larsen, PhD

Department of Sports Science and Biomechanics, SDU

  • Birgit Juul-Kristensen, PhD
  • Camilla Larsen, PhD
  • Lise Hestbæk, PhD